Sacto 9-1-1
September 30, 2011
El Dorado County Sheriff's Office warns of credit card scam

The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office is warning the public of a credit card scam, after receiving reports from several victims.

Victims give this account of how the transaction occurs, according to a Sheriff's Office news release:

Your phone rings and if you have caller ID, a 1-888 number will appear. The caller offers a low fixed-rate interest rate on a credit card or credit card consolidation. The caller then asks for credit card numbers, expiration dates, Social Security numbers, mother's maiden name and other verification passwords.

Once the caller has obtained the information, the caller tells you they need to process the information and will call you back. In addition, there will be a one-time financial fee, which will vary in amount.

With the victim's personal information, the caller has the ability to open lines of credit, make purchases and ultimately affect the victim's credit rating.

Officials advise people to follow some simple rules to protect their money and credit:

• Unless you initiated the phone call, never give out confidential information - account or Social Security numbers, or mother's maiden name - to anyone who calls.

• Review your statement each month for unauthorized purchases.

• Do not send credit card numbers through emails, which typically are not secured.

El Dorado County residents who believe they have been a victim of credit card fraud should contact their credit card issuer to report the fraud and cancel their card, then contact the Sheriff's Office.

To initiate a criminal investigation, victims need to provide law enforcement with the credit card number, where the suspected fraudulent purchase was charged and the amount of the charge. Providing the two most recent credit card statements is also helpful to investigators.

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